GYMN-L Digest - 9 Jun 1995 to 10 Jun 1995

There is one message totalling 38 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Little Girls in Pretty Boxes


Date:    Sat, 10 Jun 1995 01:48:26 -0400
Subject: Little Girls in Pretty Boxes

     I've mentioned this thought to several people in private messages, but
thought I'd throw it out for everyone. The book and the author's approach
remind me A LOT of all the talk a few years ago about former child TV and movie
stars. This was during that time when it seemed like every time you turned
around, another former child star was getting into trouble for drugs, violence
and various other crimes. Suddenly every tabloid TV show seemed to have these
people as guests and many were blaming the show business industry for
everything wrong in their lives. And, as in Joan Ryan's book, there was a
glaring absence of all the former child stars who have grown up into
well-adjusted adults. The media simply have no interest in these people - they
don't make for a good "sensational" story, so they don't help ratings and bring
in money. That seems to be the bottom line for the media in WHATEVER they're
covering, whether it's athletes or celebrities from other walks of life.
     My belief is that, in both sports (ANY sport) and show business, the
biggest factor in whether a child ends up happy and well-adjusted in the long
wrong is the family, especially the parents. Kids pressured by "stage moms"
(or dads) seem to end up with the most problems. This is even see in the Ryan
book. SO many of the girls suffering from bitterness, depression, etc. had
parents who were (often self-admittingly) pushing their daughters too hard and
who just lost perspective. I would venture to guess that these girls would have
had problems in ANYTHING they chose to do, because their parents were just too
fanatical. In my opinion, it would be much more beneficial if someone wrote a
book with guidelines for parents of children involved in ANYTHING that puts
them in the limelight, whether it's gymnastics, show business, music, etc.
Attacking the sport or the show business industry in general is missing the
point. Yes, there are abusive coaches and show-biz agents, etc., but I believe
it's the parents' responsibility to keep their children away from these people.
When surrounded by caring adults, children can excel in all sorts of things and
come out unscathed and well-adjusted.



End of GYMN-L Digest - 9 Jun 1995 to 10 Jun 1995